02-13-2010, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
Read through this, I think we're on the right track. We still don't know the fish you have, that is important. Your temp at 81 is warm, but if the fish need it, fine; if not, it should be lower. I'll comment when I know the fish species.
As for water changes, they will not hurt the fish provided you use a good conditioner. What is the name of yours?
Re the ammonia, this will be diluted by the partial water change (pwc), as will nitrites. Both are highly toxic to fish so this is important. A pwc every day of 50% of the tank is fine if that is needed to keep ammonia and nitrite below .25 ppm. A water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite will help with this. And it is fine to use them, explanation below.
Detoxifiers usually change ammonia to ammonium; ammonium is basically harmless. Test kits will still show ammonia/ammonium as ammonia, so keep that in mind. If you are using an ammonia detoxifing conditioner, nothing to worry about. Bacteria use ammonia and ammonium, so no problem there. If you have traces of ammonia in your tap water, I would use a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia.
May have more (I'm sure I will) when I know your fish species and the conditioner.
I came to your other thread on chemicals and it has answered my questions, so I can continue.
I would lower the heat; while the fish listed can manage at 81, their ranges also start at 75F and cooler is better than warmer when fish are OK with it since oxygen is higher in cooler water and with everything else, less oxygen will mean more stress. Lower the temp to 78F by adjusting your heat slowly; it will take a few hours, you don't want to turn it down enough that it doesn't come back on at 77/78.
On the conditioner, the API Stress Coat is the better of the two since it will deal with ammonia plus chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals. The Jungle would work but does nothing for ammonia, so for the present I would use the API.
If ammonia or nitrite read .25 or higher, do a pwc, once a day should do it, with the API conditioner.
I agree the pH at 8 is high for the fish you have, but it is better to leave that alone until the tank is cycled, and we can consider options then. Those chemicals will not permanently adjust the pH, resulting in fluctuating pH which is even more stressful. I've mentioned stress a lot, this is a major issue with fish just as it is with humans. Stress means weaker immune systems, more chance of health problems...we always want to lessen or eliminate stress. Right now getting the nitrification bacteria working to handle (thereby eliminating) the ammonia and nitrite will ease current stress, that is the goal.